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Bearing False Witness

Bearing False Witness Author Rodney Stark
ISBN-10 9781599475004
Release 2016-04-26
Pages 280
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As we all know and as many of our well established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history, Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called “Hitler’s Pope,” the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long held beliefs were all wrong? In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and bestselling author of The Rise of Christianity (HarperSanFrancisco 1997) argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light are, in fact, fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so strongly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what, in fact, is the truth? In each chapter, Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how each myth became the conventional wisdom, and presents a startling picture of the real truth. For example, Instead of the Spanish Inquisition being an anomaly of torture and murder of innocent people persecuted for “imaginary” crimes such as witchcraft and blasphemy, Stark argues that not only did the Spanish Inquisition spill very little blood, but it was a major force in support of moderation and justice. Instead of Pope Pius XII being apathetic or even helpful to the Nazi movement, such as to merit the title, “Hitler’s Pope,” Stark shows that the campaign to link Pope Pius XII to Hitler was initiated by the Soviet Union, presumably in hopes of neutralizing the Vatican in post-World War II affairs. Pope Pius XII was widely praised for his vigorous and devoted efforts to saving Jewish lives during the war. Instead of the Dark Ages being understood as a millennium of ignorance and backwardness inspired by the Catholic Church’s power, Stark argues that the whole notion of the “Dark Ages” was an act of pride perpetuated by anti-religious intellectuals who were determined to claim that theirs was the era of “Enlightenment.” In the end, readers will not only have a more accurate history of the Catholic Church, they will come to understand why it became unfairly maligned for so long. Bearing False Witness is a compelling and sobering account of how egotism and ideology often work together to give us a false truth.



Bearing False Witness

Bearing False Witness Author Rodney Stark
ISBN-10 9780281077755
Release 2017-03-16
Pages 276
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The following historical statements all appear in well-established textbooks, and have become part of our common culture. Which of them would you say are true? * The Catholic Church incited and actively colluded in nearly two millennia of anti-Semitic violence, and Pope Pius XII is still rightfully known as ‘Hitler’s Pope’. * Only recently have we become aware of ancient and remarkably enlightened Christian gospels, which narrow-minded Catholic authorities tried to suppress. * Once in power as the official Church of Rome, Christians quickly and brutally persecuted paganism out of existence. * The fall of Rome and the ascendancy of the Church precipitated Europe’s decline into a millennium of ignorance and backwardness, which lasted until the Renaissance. * Initiated by the pope, the Crusades were but the first bloody chapter in the history of unprovoked and brutal Christian colonialism. * The Spanish Inquisition tortured and murdered huge numbers of innocent people for ‘imaginary’ crimes, such as witchcraft and blasphemy. * The Catholic Church persecuted and tried to suppress scientists such as Galileo, and the Scientific ‘Revolution’ therefore occurred mainly in more tolerant Protestant societies. * Being entirely comfortable with slavery, the Catholic Church did nothing to oppose its introduction in the New World, or to make it more humane. * Until very recently, Catholicism’s hierarchical view of the ideal state has resulted in its bitter resistance to all efforts to establish more liberal governments and its eager support for right-wing dictators. * It was the Protestant Reformation that broke the repressive Catholic grip on progress and ushered in capitalism, religious freedom and the modern world. In this powerful and persuasive book Rodney Stark subjects these and other widely-held beliefs to a rigorous historical assessment. He gives a compelling account of how each of them became accepted as the conventional wisdom, how egotism and ideology often worked together to create false or highly distorted pictures of people and events, and how we need to work hard to recover the truth if we’re to undo the cultural damage that centuries of anti-Catholic history has done. Contents: 1. Sins of Anti- Semitism 2. The Suppressed Gospels 3. Persecuting the Tolerant Pagans 4. Imposing the Dark Ages 5. Crusading for Land, Loot, and Converts 6. Monsters of the Inquisition 7. Scientific Heresies 8. Blessed Be Slavery 9. Holy Authoritarianism 10. Protestant Modernity



Bearing False Witness

Bearing False Witness Author Rodney Stark
ISBN-10 9781599474991
Release 2016-05-16
Pages 256
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As we all know and as many of our well established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history, Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called "Hitler's Pope," the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long held beliefs were all wrong? In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and bestselling author of The Rise of Christianity (HarperSanFrancisco 1997) argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light are, in fact, fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so strongly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what, in fact, is the truth? In each chapter, Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how each myth became the conventional wisdom, and presents a startling picture of the real truth. For example, Instead of the Spanish Inquisition being an anomaly of torture and murder of innocent people persecuted for "imaginary" crimes such as witchcraft and blasphemy, Stark argues that not only did the Spanish Inquisition spill very little blood, but it was a major force in support of moderation and justice. Instead of Pope Pius XII being apathetic or even helpful to the Nazi movement, such as to merit the title, "Hitler's Pope," Stark shows that the campaign to link Pope Pius XII to Hitler was initiated by the Soviet Union, presumably in hopes of neutralizing the Vatican in post-World War II affairs. Pope Pius XII was widely praised for his vigorous and devoted efforts to saving Jewish lives during the war. Instead of the Dark Ages being understood as a millennium of ignorance and backwardness inspired by the Catholic Church's power, Stark argues that the whole notion of the "Dark Ages" was an act of pride perpetuated by anti-religious intellectuals who were determined to claim that theirs was the era of "Enlightenment." In the end, readers will not only have a more accurate history of the Catholic Church, they will come to understand why it became unfairly maligned for so long. Bearing False Witness is a compelling and sobering account of how egotism and ideology often work together to give us a false truth.



Reformation Myths

Reformation Myths Author Rodney Stark
ISBN-10 9780281078288
Release 2017-08-17
Pages 160
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What has the Reformation ever done for us? A lot less than you might think, as Rodney Stark shows in this enlightening and entertaining antidote to recent books about the rise of Protestantism and its legacy. ‘Rodney Stark takes no prisoners as he charges through five hundred years of history, upsetting apple carts left and right. Almost everything you thought you knew about the Reformation turns out to be a false narrative. . . In future, anyone who makes sweeping claims about the benefits of Protestantism ought to check their assumptions against Stark’s research first.’ Clifford Longley, author and journalist ‘Stark brings the insights of a distinguished sociologist of religion to bear on a range of inherited assumptions about the impact of the Reformation . . . The result makes for salutary reading in this year of commemoration and (not always justified) celebration.’ Peter Marshall, Professor of History, University of Warwick ‘Stark changed the way we think about the early Church and this book may change the way you think about Protestantism . . . Reformation Myths cuts through pious certainties and challenges us to think again about our cultural history.’ Linda Woodhead MBE DD, Professor of Sociology of Religion, Lancaster University



How the West Won

How the West Won Author Rodney Stark
ISBN-10 9781497603257
Release 2014-03-17
Pages 464
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Finally the Truth about the Rise of the West Modernity developed only in the West—in Europe and North America. Nowhere else did science and democracy arise; nowhere else was slavery outlawed. Only Westerners invented chimneys, musical scores, telescopes, eyeglasses, pianos, electric lights, aspirin, and soap. The question is, Why? Unfortunately, that question has become so politically incorrect that most scholars avoid it. But acclaimed author Rodney Stark provides the answers in this sweeping new look at Western civilization. How the West Won demonstrates the primacy of uniquely Western ideas—among them the belief in free will, the commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, the notion that the universe functions according to rational rules that can be discovered, and the emphasis on human freedom and secure property rights. Taking readers on a thrilling journey from ancient Greece to the present, Stark challenges much of the received wisdom about Western history. How the West Won shows, for example: · Why the fall of Rome was the single most beneficial event in the rise of Western civilization · Why the “Dark Ages” never happened · Why the Crusades had nothing to do with grabbing loot or attacking the Muslim world unprovoked · Why there was no “Scientific Revolution” · Why scholars’ recent efforts to dismiss the importance of battles are ridiculous: had the Greeks lost at the Battle of Marathon, we probably would never have heard of Plato or Aristotle Stark also debunks absurd fabrications that have flourished in the past few decades: that the Greeks stole their culture from Africa; that the West’s “discoveries” were copied from the Chinese and Muslims; that Europe became rich by plundering the non-Western world. At the same time, he reveals the woeful inadequacy of recent attempts to attribute the rise of the West to purely material causes—favorable climates, abundant natural resources, guns and steel. How the West Won displays Rodney Stark’s gifts for lively narrative history and making the latest scholarship accessible to all readers. This bold, insightful book will force you to rethink your understanding of the West and the birth of modernity—and to recognize that Western civilization really has set itself apart from other cultures.



The Real Story of Catholic History

The Real Story of Catholic History Author Steve Weidenkopf
ISBN-10 1683570472
Release 2017-10
Pages 354
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Anti-Catholics like to paint Church teachings in a way that makes them seem vain, backward, or superstitious, all in the hope of drawing people out of the Faith and into sects or unbelief. Catholic apologists fight back with facts and sound arguments. But there's another area where the Church's enemies tell their own false story of Catholicism: its history. Whether it's from the media, classrooms, or out of the mouths of pastors and politicians, we've all heard a version of Catholic history filled with unrelenting violence, ignorance, worldliness, and bigotry. It's enough to make many believers question whether the Church truly was founded by Christ. This kind of attack requires no less of a response from those who know the truth. In The Real Story of Catholic History, Steve Weidenkopf gives it to you. Weidenkopf (The Glory of the Crusades) collects over fifty of the most common and dangerous lies about Catholic history and, drawing on his experience as a historian and apologist, shows how to answer them simply and powerfully. Whether its claims about Catholicism's supposedly pagan origins, old myths about Galileo or the Inquisition that never seem to go away, or more modern misconceptions that anti-Catholics cynically exploit, The Real Story provides the desperately needed corrective. Packed with research and diligent in pursuit of the truth, while never whitewashing or explaining away the Church's past faults when they're found, The Real Story of Catholic History is an essential resource for every Catholics bookshelf. Book jacket.



The Rise of Christianity

The Rise of Christianity Author Rodney Stark
ISBN-10 9780060677015
Release 1997-05-09
Pages 272
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This "fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West was won—for Jesus" (Newsweek) is now available in paperback. Stark's provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life. "Compelling reading" (Library Journal) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" (Publishers Weekly), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance...must read it." says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).



Anti Catholicism in America

Anti Catholicism in America Author Mark Stephen Massa
ISBN-10 0824523628
Release 2005
Pages 275
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The program director for Fordham University's Center for American Catholic Studies analyzes the ongoing bias against Catholics in America, using the recent priest sex abuse scandal to trace a contemporary rush to judgment that has tainted coverage of the events and may point to a resurgence in anti-Catholicism. Original.



The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church

The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church Author Christopher Kaczor
ISBN-10 9781681495545
Release 2017-08-06
Pages 164
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The Roman Catholic Church has long been the target of suspicion and hostility. But how much of this is based on ignorance and prejudice and how much is the fruit of thoughtful consideration of the facts? This book separates fact from fiction. Without excusing or justifying wrongdoing, author Christopher Kaczor clarifies official Catholic teaching and demonstrates that much popular opinion about Catholicism is based on misunderstanding and misinformation. He also provides robust and lucid arguments for Catholic belief and practice. No one book can answer everyone's questions or objections about Catholicism, but this work examines seven of the most controversial and most common myths about the Catholic Church. The Seven Myths: The Church Opposes Science: The Myth of Catholic Irrationality The Church Opposes Freedom and Happiness: The Myth of Catholic Indifference to Earthly Welfare The Church Hates Women: The Myth of Catholic Misogyny Indifferent to Love, the Church Banned Contraception: The Myth of Opposition between Love and Procreation The Church Hates Gays: The Myth of Catholic "Homophobia" The Church Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Because of Bigotry: The Myth That There Is No Rational Basis for Limiting Marriage to One Man and One Woman Priestly Celibacy Caused the Crisis of Sexual Abuse of Minors: The Myth of Priestly Pedophilia



Confessions of a Traditional Catholic

Confessions of a Traditional Catholic Author Matthew Arnold
ISBN-10 9781681497846
Release 2017-08-22
Pages 176
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What is Catholic Traditionalism? Under what historical and cultural circumstances has it appeared? Why do some devout, knowledgeable Catholics embrace the paradoxical position that remaining true to Tradition entails deserting the official, traditional structure of the Church? Most importantly, what steps can be taken to help restore unity in the Body of Christ? Matthew Arnold, a Catholic convert, answers these and other questions about Catholic Traditionalism. His moving first-hand account powerfully demonstrates how a faithful Catholic's legitimate desire for a reverently celebrated liturgy led him to tolerate the irregular situation of Holy Mass celebrated validly, but illicitly, outside the diocesan structure. His compelling testimony also explores how the licit celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass, can have a positive impact on the life and the liturgy of the Church. Told in the context of Arnold's personal witness and spiritual journey, this book concisely documents the century-long movement to reform the liturgy. This candid, poignant, and often humorous book exposes the spiritual peril at the heart of radical Traditionalism while remaining compassionate toward the legitimate aspirations of Traditional Catholics.



Catholic Controversies

Catholic Controversies Author Stephen Gabriel
ISBN-10 0982766203
Release 2010-12-01
Pages 512
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Gabriel gives Catholics and others seeking the truth a valuable resource for correcting the most-common misunderstandings and myths perpetuated by the media, university professors, and the uninformed to undermine both the authority of the Church and the faith of Catholics.



God s Battalions

God s Battalions Author Rodney Stark
ISBN-10 9780061582615
Release 2009-09-29
Pages 288
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In God's Battalions, award-winning author Rodney Stark takes on the long-held view that the Crusades were the first round of European colonialism, conducted for land, loot, and converts by barbarian Christians who victimized the cultivated Muslims. To the contrary, Stark argues that the Crusades were the first military response to unwarranted Muslim terrorist aggression. Stark reviews the history of the seven major Crusades from 1095 to 1291, demonstrating that the Crusades were precipitated by Islamic provocations, centuries of bloody attempts to colonize the West, and sudden attacks on Christian pilgrims and holy places. Although the Crusades were initiated by a plea from the pope, Stark argues that this had nothing to do with any elaborate design of the Christian world to convert all Muslims to Christianity by force of arms. Given current tensions in the Middle East and terrorist attacks around the world, Stark's views are a thought-provoking contribution to our understanding and are sure to spark debate.



The New Anti Catholicism

The New Anti Catholicism Author Philip Jenkins
ISBN-10 9780195176049
Release 2004
Pages 258
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Offers an analysis of prejudice against Catholics, arguing that anti-Catholicism can be seen in all areas of American culture, including movies, television, publishing, the arts, the news media, and academia.



Hitler s Pope

Hitler s Pope Author John Cornwell
ISBN-10 1101202491
Release 2000-10-01
Pages 464
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The “explosive” (The New York Times) bestseller—now with a new introduction by the author When Hitler’s Pope, the shocking story of Pope Pius XII that “redefined the history of the twentieth century” (The Washington Post ) was originally published, it sparked a firestorm of controversy both inside and outside the Catholic Church. Now, award-winning journalist John Cornwell has revisited this seminal work of history with a new introduction that both answers his critics and reaffirms his overall thesis that Pius XII, now scheduled to be canonized by the Vatican, weakened the Catholic Church with his endorsement of Hitler—and sealed the fate of the Jews in Europe.



Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Author Gary Dale Cearley
ISBN-10 9781847282064
Release 2006-07-01
Pages 156
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Gary Dale Cearley's ground breaking book straightens out the myths concerning one of the biggest religious hoaxes of all time. Gary Dale's arguments are grounded on the only thing that matter. The facts. Just when you thought you knew your history... A must read.



Four Witnesses

Four Witnesses Author Rod Bennett
ISBN-10 9781681491912
Release 2009-11-24
Pages 343
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What was the early Church like? Contrary to popular belief, Rod Bennett shows there is a reliable way to know. Four ancient Christian writers—four witnesses to early Christianity —left us an extensive body of documentation on this vital subject, and this book brings their fascinating testimony to life for modern believers. With all the power and drama of a gripping novel, this book is a journey of discovery of ancient and beautiful truths through the lives of four great saints of the early Church—Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus of Lyons.



The Victory of Reason

The Victory of Reason Author Rodney Stark
ISBN-10 158836500X
Release 2007-12-18
Pages 304
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Many books have been written about the success of the West, analyzing why Europe was able to pull ahead of the rest of the world by the end of the Middle Ages. The most common explanations cite the West’s superior geography, commerce, and technology. Completely overlooked is the fact that faith in reason, rooted in Christianity’s commitment to rational theology, made all these developments possible. Simply put, the conventional wisdom that Western success depended upon overcoming religious barriers to progress is utter nonsense. In The Victory of Reason, Rodney Stark advances a revolutionary, controversial, and long overdue idea: that Christianity and its related institutions are, in fact, directly responsible for the most significant intellectual, political, scientific, and economic breakthroughs of the past millennium. In Stark’s view, what has propelled the West is not the tension between secular and nonsecular society, nor the pitting of science and the humanities against religious belief. Christian theology, Stark asserts, is the very font of reason: While the world’s other great belief systems emphasized mystery, obedience, or introspection, Christianity alone embraced logic and reason as the path toward enlightenment, freedom, and progress. That is what made all the difference. In explaining the West’s dominance, Stark convincingly debunks long-accepted “truths.” For instance, by contending that capitalism thrived centuries before there was a Protestant work ethic–or even Protestants–he counters the notion that the Protestant work ethic was responsible for kicking capitalism into overdrive. In the fifth century, Stark notes, Saint Augustine celebrated theological and material progress and the institution of “exuberant invention.” By contrast, long before Augustine, Aristotle had condemned commercial trade as “inconsistent with human virtue”–which helps further underscore that Augustine’s times were not the Dark Ages but the incubator for the West’s future glories. This is a sweeping, multifaceted survey that takes readers from the Old World to the New, from the past to the present, overturning along the way not only centuries of prejudiced scholarship but the antireligious bias of our own time. The Victory of Reason proves that what we most admire about our world–scientific progress, democratic rule, free commerce–is largely due to Christianity, through which we are all inheritors of this grand tradition.